5 Things you may not know about running


Abimael Fidanque, Staff Writer

Benefit 1. Running adds years to your life and life to your years.

Numerous studies have shown that running increases lifespan. This has led to the often-repeated observation, “If exercise were a pill, it would be the most popular pill in the world Worth noting.” It would also be the least expensive, with little to no cost. A 2018 meta-analysis of research on running and longevity found out that runners have about a 25 to 30 percent lower rate of all cause mortality than nonrunners. It concluded: “Any amount of running, even once a week, is better than no running.”

Benefit 2. It improves your immunity.

Exercise scientist and 58-time marathoner David Nieman has spent the last 40 years looking at the links between exercise and immunity. He’s uncovered mostly very good news and a few cautionary notes, while also looking at the effects of diet on the immunity status of runners. His summary is “Modest exercise improves immunity, ultra-endurance efforts can decrease immunity (at least until you have fully recovered), and dark red/blue/blackberries help your body stay strong and healthy.”

Benefit 3. Running reduces the risk of many cancers.

In 2016, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a remarkable “Original Investigation” into the exercise habits and cancer incidence of 1.44 million American and European adults. The authors concluded that high fitness exercises such as runners had a lower risk of developing 26 different kinds of cancer. There was something special about exercise that lowered cancer risk. Many other researchers have found similar results. In addition, running is also helpful if you, unfortunately, do develop cancer. In that case, regular exercise lowers side effects from the difficult treatments while supporting you physically and emotionally. It also reduces mortality from cancer and decreases the likelihood that you develop another type of cancer.

Benefit 4. Running helps you lose weight, and keep it off.

Because it involves continuously moving your entire body weight, running burns more calories than most other activities. You don’t have to run fast to achieve max burn. You get almost as much from running slow but it takes twice as long. It has also been said that you “can’t outrun a bad diet,” but that’s only the half-truth at best, as pointed out by a 2019 “editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine”. The authors note: “It is incontrovertible that exercise can and does result in weight loss.” Moreover, it leads to a “multitude of other positive effects on health.” If you want to keep track, running burns roughly 100 calories per mile. (For more accuracy, multiply .75 x your body weight in pounds to get your personal calorie burn per mile.)

Benefit 5.  Running improves mental health and reduces depression.

Many runners take up the sport to improve their physical fitness. After a short time, these new runners often give a different answer to the question “Why do you run?”. The answer to the question, “Because it makes me feel better.” They are talking about emotions, mood, mental energy, fewer blue days, and etc. The evidence for this effect is overwhelming. “A 2016 meta-analysis of exercise and depression” reached these conclusions, among other positive outcomes such as, “1) Exercise is “an effective treatment” for depression; 2) Exercise is as effective as psychotherapy and prescription meds, and 3) Exercise “may serve as an alternative” too costly and often-hard-to-find/schedule medical treatments.”